Imagine the worst
In some writing book I read, I don’t remember which one, it advised to think of the worst possible thing to do to a character, and then do it. I have realized that this advice is not working for me. What’s the worse thing that could happen to my characters who are solving a murder? They never solve it. They give up. They all die horribly. I don’t think that’s what the writing advisor meant. He (or she) meant that I should add conflict. Stories with minimal conflict are lifeless, dull things. I find I need to do that. I just formed a team of very different characters in what could be a lively buddy cop type of situation, and they are all getting along and agreeing with all the decisions of their leader. Blah. That’s a fantasy of a different kind. People are irritating, and people seldom agree with each other about everything. I should get inspiration from trying to clean the house with my family. We love each other dearly, but our arguments are ludicrous.
Just a few minutes ago, I ended a disagreement with my daughter (about the fact that a box of something does not equal a serving) by yelling “I didn’t pay for an argument!” Then I sat down and wrote a scene where all the leader’s team told her how wonderful she was and that they would do what she said. Hmmm.